For Immediate Release - October 06, 2009

Patrick Administration Invites Applications for Federal Stimulus Funds for Local Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects

Communities with fewer than 35,000 residents can apply for up to $150,000 in clean energy funding; DOER will offer energy benchmarking database, technical assistance and energy code training to all 351 cities and towns

BOSTON - As part of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) today announced that 309 Massachusetts communities are eligible to compete for over $12.2 million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Estimated to save or create 200 jobs statewide, the grants are part of $14.7 million awarded to Massachusetts by the US Department of Energy (DOE) last week to advance efficiency and conservation goals at the local level. Communities with fewer than 35,000 residents are eligible to apply for this pool of funding, which is being administered by DOER's Green Communities Division.

"Every area of Massachusetts must take part in the promise of a clean energy future," said Governor Patrick. "By 'going green' in communities across the state, we will put stimulus dollars to good use creating jobs, enhancing regional economies and improving our environment for this generation and the ones that follow."

"It is important to partner with all of our cities and towns as we implement ARRA and work to grow our economy," said Lt. Governor Tim Murray. "This funding will allow municipalities across the Commonwealth to undertake important energy and efficiency projects while at the same time supporting the clean energy sector in Massachusetts."

"The Commonwealth is pleased to announce this important pool of Recovery funding and eager to join with Massachusetts cities and towns to put it to productive use right away - creating local jobs, 'greening' our communities, and continuing the growth of our clean energy economy," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles, whose office includes the DOER.

To qualify for funding, proposed projects must benefit municipal buildings (including schools), be shovel ready, create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and leverage private capital and expertise from other partners. Possible candidates for funding include solar photovoltaic installations; other clean energy technologies such as combined heat and power, biomass thermal, solar thermal, and geothermal; thermal efficiency measures in oil- or propane-heated buildings such as new high efficiency boilers and furnaces or improved efficiency in existing ones, replacement or improvement of heat delivery systems, and increased insulation or window replacement; and reduction ("buy-down") of the total cost of efficiency measures identified by energy performance contractors.

With the maximum grant award per community capped at $150,000, DOER expects over 80 Massachusetts cities and towns will receive funding when awards are announced in early January. Applications are due to DOER December 7.

"Across Massachusetts, our Green Communities Division is hearing that cities and towns are poised to deploy an array of projects that will lower municipal energy use, saving local dollars while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change," DOER Commissioner Phil Giudice said. "These grants will help dozens of smaller communities get these projects underway."

In March, the US DOE allocated a total of $42.2 million to Massachusetts under the EECBG program. In addition to the $14.7 million administered by DOER on behalf of communities with populations under 35,000, 42 larger communities were allocated direct grants totaling $27.4 million.

"When you save energy, you save money. These investments will help smaller communities across our state join the effort to reduce greenhouse gases and combat global climate change. I strongly urge all 309 eligible communities across the state to rush to apply for one of these awards," said US Senator John Kerry.

"Clean energy job opportunities exist beyond big city limits. By releasing $12 million in energy efficiency and renewable grants for communities with populations under 35,000, we can help launch the clean energy revolution in small towns across the Commonwealth and across the nation," said Congressman Edward J. Markey.

"I strongly urge communities in western and central Massachusetts to take advantage of this unique opportunity and apply for these federal grants. A commitment to energy efficiency and conservation can help local governments save money and create jobs. Federal and state investment in clean energy projects will help put us on the path to energy independence," said Congressman Richard E. Neal.

"These funds, made possible under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help our communities invest in expanding our clean energy economy and creating "green" jobs across the Commonwealth," said Congressman John F. Tierney. "I am pleased that the process through which over 300 communities can apply for these funds has begun."

"These funds will not only help energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, but will also give a boost to our emerging clean energy industry," said Congressman William Delahunt. "These grant funds will allow our local towns and schools to save money while also providing jobs to local builders and contractors."

"It's critically important that some of the stimulus energy funds are targeted toward smaller communities," Congressman Jim McGovern said. "I'm pleased that the state is making this money available."

"Investments in green energy benefit both our economy and our environment. These stimulus funds will help save and create jobs while supporting shovel-ready projects that will promote energy conservation and energy efficiency in our cities and towns," Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said.

DOER also announced today that it will use part of the $14.7 million in EECBG funding to make clean energy technical assistance services available to all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns, regardless of population size. Included in these services is a new Energy Information Reporting System that will provide comprehensive and current community-by-community energy usage and cost information. The system will enable municipalities to benchmark energy consumption and identify priority targets for efficiency investments, and to inventory, track and report municipal emissions reductions.

Also open to all 351 cities and towns is $825,000 in EECBG funds statewide for technical experts who will help municipalities ensure that energy equipment and systems are correctly designed and installed and perform as they should, and that performance and results are effectively monitored and measured. Finally, DOER's Green Communities Division is devoting a portion of EECBG funding to provide energy code training for municipal building code inspectors throughout the Commonwealth.

To view DOER's EECGB grant application materials, click here .


Investments in municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

 

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future, and support clean energy, broadband, and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.